Driver in fiery Wayne County crash that killed four kids was convicted of drug charges in 2016 and 2019

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Photo//Indiana State Police

WAYNE COUNTY – A semi-driver is behind bars in Wayne County after officials say he caused the fiery crashed that killed four kids. The children were ages six to 15.

Investigators suspect 31-year-old Corey Withrow of Camden, Ohio was under the influence of drugs when he hit the car on I-70 on Thursday evening. Preliminary toxicology results indicate he had multiple drugs in his system at the time of the crash.

He has been arrested on multiple charges, including reckless homicide, operating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. His bail was set to $35,000.

Court records in Ohio show he has a history of drug convictions. In 2016, Withrow plead guilty to possession of heroin. Then in 2019, he was convicted of aggravated possession of drugs. He was sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Less than a year and a half later, he is behind bars in Indiana following this deadly crash.

Indiana State Police said the crash happened just after 5 p.m. Thursday on I-70 just west of the Cambridge City exit. The crash site was just west of the construction zone.

When crews arrived on the scene, they found a Chevrolet car and a semi pulling a box trailer off the left side of the road engulfed in flames.

“The semi came along, did not adjust his speed for slowed traffic and he simply hit the back of the Chevy passenger car at full road speed,” said Sgt. John Bowling, spokesperson for Indiana State Police.

Four people inside the car died. State police identified them as 15-year-old Anesa Noel Acosta, 13-year-old Quintin Michael McGowan, 8-year-old Brekkin Riley Bruce, 6-year-old Trentin Beau Bruce.

Indiana State Police said the children were related. Their father, 34-year-old Aaron Bruce, was the driver of the passenger car. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis and admitted to the burn unit. State police said Bruce had an address from Kansas City, Missouri.

Withrow was not hurt in the crash.

“When he hit them, he pushed them forward and they glanced off the semi-trailer and he just continued pushing them across the left lane, down the berm until both vehicles burst to flames and came to rest,” said Bowling.

Some are questioning why Withrow was allowed to drive a semi on Thursday.

“I am certain that is a question that our investigators are going to be asking that company. I know they met with company officials this morning here at the scene,” said Bowling.

The freight truck is registered to an Ohio company called Barnets Inc. CBS4 called the company to ask them the same question. A woman told us the appropriate people were not in today and to call back later. Then she hung up on us.

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